We love a seasonal capsule wardrobe. Capsule wardrobes are increasingly popular and for good reason. Not only are they a fantastic way to shop and live sustainably, but they also make planning outfits and getting dressed a breeze. We created this list to help you select consolidated, high-quality basics that you can mix and match to wear over and over again. This minimalist summer capsule wardrobe will help you get styled for summer, from work outfits to special occasion dresses.
You'll want several plain, light-colored, or white loose-fitting t-shirts for your capsule wardrobe. This basic piece is a must. Wear your comfy sustainable cotton t-shirts while lounging on the weekends, half-tucked into your tailored shorts while running errands, or neatly tucked in under your blazer for work.
Having a couple of button-down oxford shirts is also a necessity for your summer capsule wardrobe. Linen is the go-to fabric of summer, so we recommend at least one of the button-downs in that cool and breezy sustainable fabric. Choose a looser fit or opt for a men’s button-down Oxford for a more relaxed summery look and to stay cool during the hot summer days.
Dare to bare those legs with a pair of fitted women’s shorts. A pair of linen or khaki tailored shorts are high on our list of must-have summer capsule wardrobe basics. Tailored beige shorts are simultaneously casual and chic, making them a great choice for almost any summer activity.
There aren’t many styles of pants we really want to wear during the warmest season, but a stylish and ultra-comfortable pair of breezy wide-legged pants are the exception to this rule. To avoid a baggy look, create a silhouette by wearing your wide-legged pants with a more fitted top and wear the top tucked in. Depending on the style, you may also want to belt this look.
Invest in (or keep) at least one dressy but comfortable sleeveless or short-sleeved women's blouse. Wear it under your blazer for work, and then switch out your blazer for your favorite denim jacket for happy hour later on. A silk or satin cami tank or sleeveless top is both comfortable and modish.
One or two high-quality, neutral-colored blazers are all you need for your summer capsule wardrobe. Perfect for wearing to the office, but also incredibly modish over a dress or with your tailored shorts for a night out.
The denim jacket is a great choice for summer outerwear. Great for wearing out to any casual summer occasion or just for keeping on you while running errands.
A simple but beautiful, neutral-colored maxi dress is a must for any summer wardrobe. A good maxi dress can be dressed up with heels and a shawl for an outdoor summer wedding, or it can be dressed down with some fashionable sneakers and your favorite denim jacket for hanging with friends on the weekend.
In addition to your maxi dress, you'll also want at least one other dress to keep in your summer capsule wardrobe, and we think the mid-calf-length midi dress is the most versatile and wearable option. A midi shift dress is a great choice, as this dress could just as easily be worn to work as it could to brunch or an evening event. Versatility and wearability are key for creating the ultimate summer capsule wardrobe, and a good midi dress perfectly fits the bill.
Women's shoes are an extremely important aspect of the capsule wardrobe, as footwear can drastically change the vibe of an entire outfit, for better or worse. First, having a pair of quality sandals is necessary for summer. Ideally, you'll want to find a pair that has an ankle strap. These styles tend to be comfortable and walkable but also stylish.
The right pair of heels is all you need to take your midi dress from casual summer daytime hangouts to elegant evening wear. Keep at least one pair of strappy and chic high heels in your summer capsule wardrobe for dressing up your outfits. You can even elevate your wide-legged pant look with a pair of strappy heels.
One pair of flats or loafers is good to keep in your summer capsule wardrobe. Ballet flats and penny loafers are both timeless and classic summer footwear options. Perfect for occasions where sneakers may be too casual, but your strappy heels may be too much. It’s also never a bad idea to bring along a pair of black flats as backup footwear to any event that calls for high heels for when your feet become sore.
Last but not least, you will, of course, need at least one pair of sneakers, though we recommend two. Keep one pair of running shoes or trainers for exercise and one pair of street sneakers for casual outfits.
Now that you have your summer capsule wardrobe basics down, you can (and should!) adjust this list of basics to fit your own lifestyle and climate.